Israel Calling! On Tuesday one of the biggest pre-parties of the season exploded in Tel Aviv, where 25 acts from Eurovision 2018 made their way to the stage of Israel Calling 2018.

This was the third time the city of Tel Aviv invited the stars of Eurovision to perform. This year we enjoyed an outdoor show held at Rabin Square in downtown Tel Aviv with thousands of fans attending. Producers also delivered a live stream of the show, so fans the world over could share the moment.

The concerts at Rabin Square marked a beautiful end to the three-day fiesta, which included an opening ceremony, a red carpet and a whole lot of partying in between. We’re still walking funny…

With representatives from Iceland to Azerbaijan, it was a truly international show. Slovenia’s Lea Sirk was the first ESC 2018 star to perform, while the Israelis let their very own act Netta close the show. And she didn’t just close it: she blew it up, danced on the ashes, and made the entire audience cluck like chickens.

But who had the best performance? You can watch all 25 performance clips in the playlist below. Then vote in our poll. You can vote for as many acts as you like, but you can only vote ONE time. Be sure to check the box next to every act you want to support before submitting your votes.

Eurovision 2018 acts at Israel Calling 2018

  • Armenia: Sevak Khanagyan – “Qami”
  • Australia: Jessica Mauboy – “We Got Love”
  • Austria: César Sampson – “Nobody But You”
  • Azerbaijan: Aisel – “X My Heart”
  • Belarus: ALEKSEEV – “Forever”
  • Belgium: Sennek – “A Matter of Time”
  • Czech Republic – Mikolas Josef – “Lie To Me”
  • Denmark: Rasmussen – “Higher Ground”
  • France: Madame Monsieur – “Mercy”
  • F.Y.R. Macedonia: Eye Cue – “Lost and Found”
  • Georgia: Iriao – “For You”
  • Iceland: Ari Ólafsson – “Our Choice”
  • Ireland: Ryan O’Shaughnessy – “Together”
  • Israel: Netta – “Toy”
  • Latvia: Laura Rizzotto – “Funny Girl”
  • Lithuania: Ieva Zasimauskaité – “When We’re Old”
  • Moldova: DoReDos – “My Lucky Day”
  • Montenegro: Vanja Radovanovic – “Inje”
  • Romania: The Humans – “Goodbye”
  • San Marino: Jessika feat. Jenifer Brening – “Who We Are”
  • Serbia: Sanja Ilic and Balkanika – “Nova Deca”
  • Slovenia: Lea Sirk – “Hvala, Ne!”
  • Spain: Amaia y Alfred – “Tu Canción”
  • Switzerland: ZiBBZ – “Stones”
  • United Kingdom: SuRie – “Storm”

Albania’s Eugent Bushpepa had also been confirmed to perform, but due to matters out of his control he had to cancel.

Israel Calling 2018 performances

Israel Calling 2018: Which Eurovision 2018 performance was your favourite?

Not all Eurovision 2018 contestants made it to Israel, but several sent warm messages from afar. These include Greece’s Yianna Terzi, Bulgaria’s Equinox and Norway’s Alexander Rybak.

Apart from the participants of 2018, we also enjoyed performances from some special guests. Among them was the man who brought the Eurovision trophy to Israel for the first time in 1978 — Izhar Cohen — who, of course, performed his winning song A-ba-ni-bi. Israel’s third and most recent winner to date Dana International reprised “Diva” and “Good night Europe”.

Adel Korshov — part of Israel’s Junior Eurovision 2012 group Kids.il — paid tribute to Eurovision’s first-ever winner Lys Assia, who sadly passed away last month. She sang Assia’s winning song from 1956, “Refrain”.

Who was your favourite? Who are you looking forward to seeing the most in Lisbon? Let us know in the comments below.

Vote in more Eurovision 2018 polls.

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Trobl
Guest
Trobl

Stop it with Israel. It’s bad, it’s overrated.

Pablo
Guest
Pablo

This has been the first time (from dozens of performances) I’ve seen Amaia’s voice crumbling for a few seconds over a scenario since I’ve started following her OT steps in september. Caught me by surprise. She’s still human after all.

I thought sound was shaky-shaky for most of them. I would only save Moldova, Iceland, Switzerland and very few more.

Netta was not as bad as people makes to be. I was not expecting something much powerful than what I saw from her. She will get better as everyone will in here.

The music must win
Guest
The music must win

It is normal, Catalonia is an autonomous region that belongs to a country that is a social and democratic state of law, and Alfred was born in Catalonia, people are happy that a Catalan representing in Spain, in Eurovision. But the most important message that can be left is that what reigns here now is music, sung in Spanish or in any language. Up the music !.

Israel's Song Sucks, Right?
Guest
Israel's Song Sucks, Right?

Netta’s performance was horrible. It’s second just because of song

Aldep
Guest
Aldep

wiwibloggs >>> Why did you not release a video of Mikolas Josef’s performance in Israel on your youtube channel yet? 🙁

axaesc
Guest
axaesc

For me… well i gotta say every one was good and all of them are in good in their own way I mean there are some things to say but i will not judge before the big show because all of them can improve and imress all of us but i gotta say the ones that did impress are definitely Switzerland Romania and so one….. of course Slovenia was one of the best for me not because of the song even though it’s not that bad becuse i thing she owned the crowd and she has a good voice so… Read more »

axaesc
Guest
axaesc

Slovenia!!! Agreee so true it was a big surprise

Peter
Guest
Peter

Woow, I see Lithuania is climbing to the top os this poll!

David
Guest
David

They topped the Latvia pre-party poll, they came 2nd in the London pre-party poll… Will they top this one too? Who knows?

Ely
Guest
Ely

This woman can’t sing in live, sorry, don’t want listen to her balagan twice. This one should be the winner ??? 0p.

Kirby
Guest
Kirby

Israel 2018 is Italy 2017 is Russia 2016. Who’s the dark horse, then?

Victoria
Guest
Victoria

ALBANIA!!!! Eugent is awesome!

Madrileño
Guest
Madrileño

WiWi please there is someone called CATALUÑA that is taking this chats to talk about CATALUÑA independence.
I THINK THIS IS NOT THE PLACE.
HAVE A WACHED.
THANKS.

Madrileño
Guest
Madrileño

More indepedents hiding.
Id did not insult anyone.
Yes Trump is with Cataluña HAHAHAHA

Madrileño
Guest
Madrileño

THE TRUE STORY IS THE LAYS THAT YOU HAVE BEEN LEARNING SINCE YOU WHERE A CHILD WITH ALL THE MONEY FROM THE REST OF SPAIN.
HOPE NOT TO SEE INDEPENDENT FLAGS IN LISBON YOU HAVE A SPANISH PASPORT REMEMBER.
THIS INDEPENDENTS WILL RUIN THE SHOW IM SHURE

?
Guest
?

Why is it important?

Israel Calling
Guest
Israel Calling

I want Netta to win, but she must return that dress to Jamie Lee, and try to not win Barbara Dex.

Israel Calling
Guest
Israel Calling

Sennek looks like Alanis Morissette.

Stevan
Guest
Stevan

How is Belgium so high with those awful vocals

No
Guest
No

Romania so high? Overrated.

Christian
Guest
Christian

Have you seen the performances, Romania’s lead singer rocked live!

Israel Calling
Guest
Israel Calling

Romania is better live.

SK
Guest
SK

I was in Kikar Rabin and tried to feel what songs were getting the best reaction from people around me, most of them heard only a handful on the songs before watching this show.

The songs that seemed to get the best reactions from the crowd were:
Australia
Czech Republic
France
Moldova
Azerbaijan
Slovenia (!)
United Kingdom (!!)
Denmark
Georgia
And of course, Israel (but that’s not saying much)

Clara
Guest
Clara

France <3
Best message hands down. Supporting from Spain

Stefanos
Guest
Stefanos

Laughable watching France singing THAT song in a country that kicks migrants out, or even send them to jail.

And of course, as everyone knows, closes borders.

Audience was like…Mercy to hell(jail)

up!
Guest
up!

You make the “anti-refugee sentiment” sound like s.th. positive in opposition to those “disgusting” philanthropists…
Don’t you think that a nation-linking unifying get-together like the ESC may rather not be your show to watch if you have this kind of attitude?

LawStudent
Guest
LawStudent

the staged performance will be electric once shes with her dancers. Netta had by far one of the most energetic acts last night, demonstrating amazing vocal chops. She’s definitely aiming for the gold… She’s top five for sure- nothing like Italy last year.

Cin
Guest
Cin

I wonder what will she do with the backing vocalists in the chorus then? Because if she will have dancers, she can’t have backing vocalists on stage as well? In this performance the backing vocals were from playback, but it won’t be allowed in Lizbon

James
Guest
James

Not having LED’s is not the end of the world.

Israel Calling
Guest
Israel Calling

But is going back to 2010.

Jack
Guest
Jack

No, it’s about being true to the music and artists. LEDs is nothing more than lights in the casino. Those are supposed to force customers to lose sign of the time so more profit would go to casino owners. The same is with LEDs and the rest of special effects during performances. They’re meant to distract viewers from weak vocals, poor song and etc.

Ron Kavaler
Editor

I’m biased, but still, Israel 🙂

Djedzje
Guest
Djedzje

Rybak singing Fairytale via streaming for Israeli fans…
C’mon man sing your ’18 song. Desperation.

Thiago
Guest
Thiago

Comparing them to communism is quite eccentric, but keep in mind they are neither professional judges nor professional journalists. They are bloggers… People like you and I. They (and we) are under no professional obligation to be objective.

Yaa
Guest
Yaa

I think you are Australian and behaving like a Spaniard.

Brandon
Guest
Brandon

You don’t have to be Australian to like Jessica and her performance. She has amazing stage presence and powerful vocals. I didn’t like the studio version but the live performance is so good that the song has grown on me. It is climbing up my list and in my top 5. From meh to wow.

Yaa
Guest
Yaa

It’s a commercial site and it shows! They go with the odds and with the membership numbers( read Spain, cos . they are the crazy tipe). Anytihing else is just dust you walk on.

Anita
Guest
Anita

Just remember how wonderful she sang – and didn’t qualify. This was so sad https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvF7auQ_dpA

Vic
Guest
Vic

It was so painful, they were amazing.

Cin
Guest
Cin

I don’t understand why the juries didn’t give more points to Blackbird, shouldn’t they promote ‘artistic’ songs more then commercial ones?

Israel Calling
Guest
Israel Calling

Juries are told to promote radio friendly songs. Is an official criteria.

Cin
Guest
Cin

Oh, thanks, I didn’t know that.. well it sucks then.. 😀 and also ‘radio friendly’ is such a wide concept – was Sorbal that radio friendly?

James
Guest
James

I dont think thats the reason. Yes it is an official criteria howver Norma John were certainly radio friendly..Adele , Florence & The Machine, London Grammar esque and all of them get radio play in Europe. Certainly more than radio friendly than Salvador. But if I remember rightly I read there were technical issues in the jury performance and vocal problems so it didnt come across well. Dont forget the jury vote on a different performance to the one we vote on which is why there can be a vast difference of opinion sometimes.

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

I’ll focus on the live performances we’ve seen for the first time. Sennek didn’t sound so good in the high notes, the verses instead were beautiful. Netta sounded great but I expected the performance to be more powerful and full of energy. On the other hand, Eye Cue were great.

From the rest of the acts, my favourite performances were Armenia, Australia, Czech Republic, France and Montenegro.

Lourdes
Guest
Lourdes

Marija’s voice (Eye Cue) was pretty shaky throughout the song. I hope it will improve with backing vocalists.

Anita
Guest
Anita

I asked somone to translate what she said before she started her performance, she said: “Thank you for your support. It’s very exciting for me to be here. We made for you a small tease, we have many surprising stuff for you that you will see in the Eurovision. Today I’m alone, in the contest I will be on the stage with my dancers.?”

Filip
Guest
Filip

No need to worry about Sennek trust me she can sing live

Yaa
Guest
Yaa

No need to worry..rain falling down… same for Belarus! And of course for Belgium! They will slay in Lisbon!

s
Guest
s

i would like to hope on belarus but this is his 4th time singing this song live and he still didnt improve i really want him to sing well in lisbon

Yaa
Guest
Yaa

4th time? He sang it at least 20 times live these past two months, he sang it the night before Israel calling on a scene in Estonia and it was flawless. In Tel aviv it was clear he had earpiece malfunction but still not so bad, emotional. I think all the participants that we harshly judge today will amaze us in Lisbon, it will be a treat! Good luck to all!

Chupacabra
Guest
Chupacabra

This year seems quite weak, no goosebumps, but also almost no really bad entries. At Israel Calling, the underdogs of the odds, Switzerland and Slovenia delivered, hope, Lea Sirk and the Zibbs will go to the Final, Austria´s Cesár Sampson really delivers, gr8 voice, knows to sing and hits the notes, natural charisma and sex appeal. Also like France. Australia is life far better, a real grower. Hope, solidarity-, diaspora- and neighbour voting won´t kick out good contestants. bloodbath-alert in Semi 1. Spain was my guilty pleasure, but they didn´t touch me that much anymore at Israel Calling. Their chemistry… Read more »

friedenau
Guest
friedenau

I’m so over the Israel overhype this year… This only shows how behindhand Eurovision is in terms of music. This would have been something new and fresh like 10 years ago, today is just tired. Not original, challenging or exciting anymore. I really hope that we have a winner to be more proud of, something tasteful and classy, some quality song like france or italy, why not?

Yaa
Guest
Yaa

Oh, please not France or Italy, not that I’m worried a bit! They belong to a political rally. I’ d much prefer Israel, at least it’s musical and entertaining.

Colin
Guest
Colin

I agree with friedeanu, Italy and France have more deep and emotional songs by far. They are humanitarian, not political. But if you want to avoid sensitive topics like immigrants and politics, then let Estonia or Denmark win, since they are musically amazing and epic. Or Hungary, a song that would indeed be an unique winner for ESC, both lyrically and musically.

s
Guest
s

Deep and emotional songs are not supposed to have a certain melody… the fact that nettas song is up tempo original and very diffrent dosent mean that it doesnt have a deep and emotional message…Netta choose to have her message in a very unique and brave way… unlike france and italy even tho i like their songs it feels like i heard this kind of songs a thousend times already…

Anita
Guest
Anita

Yes, Hungary would be satisfying – something different, fresh, authentic, quality, an original band with a touching background story and lyrics. Not this boring stuff from Sweden or something, I could not stand a swedish win this year. And please don’t let Estonia win, no Opera alarm for Eurovision 2019 please.
I would welcome a dark horse win this year – from Hungry, or Ukraine, charismatic enough for winners.
And i guess Israel is going to win if the staging in Lisbon is right.

Yaa
Guest
Yaa

Yes to Hungary, can’t wait to vote for them!

Azotman
Guest
Azotman

Hello Yaa,
I guess to some extent quite all the songs are potilical, included Israel, France, Italy… Welcome to Eurovision, diaspora, neighbour and political alliances effects.
Ciao

loveeurovision
Guest
loveeurovision

the reason i stopped taking wiwibloggs seriously,too much favouritism

Yaa
Guest
Yaa

I’m with you.

Jenna
Guest
Jenna

Israel was amazing live!!!

up!
Guest
up!

France, FYR Macedonia and Switzerland…

Worst vocals – again! – from Alekseev… I’ve not seen a single performance of him where he could – well, let’s face it – sing…
Aisel quite weak, too…

Yaa
Guest
Yaa

Stop this hate! Alekseev is great live! I’ve listened dozens of llive versions .True his song is really difficult, try it yourself, but really rewarding! I know he is a threat to your own favourite but be fair and just stop hating! It means a lot for a lot of us,believe me.

up!
Guest
up!

I think you confuse s.th. I definitely don’t feel hatred towards the singer or the song. I just stated my opinion that I am always surprised how someone who earns his living with singing fails to do so in every single video I have seen of him. I’m happy for you that you made another experience. Perhaps you can give me the link to those performances you are referring to, because I honestly tried to get an approach since the song itself is not so bad imo. (Btw this song is a really easy one to sing if you have… Read more »

Yaa
Guest
Yaa

No, it’s not easy, try it yourself! I singalong many entries this year and this one I cannot for the life of me. The trick is that the first 2 verses are an octave appart, so you either can sing the first verse or the rest of the song. I don’t know how to put links, but if you search in Yt a live version, uploaded recently you’ll find. There’s one a day before Israel, one 2 days before, plenty of them

up!
Guest
up!

Like I said, it’s easy if you have the voice register. I’ve tried it and it’s not very challenging imo… and why would someone choose a song which is not fitting his voice?
Besides, I did see him perform other songs and it was all the same…
But let’s agree to disagree. We will see on Tuesday 8th May… maybe he pulls it off then…

Yaa
Guest
Yaa

And think that my comments are awaiting moderation…

Ralph
Guest
Ralph

Lithuania is my winner <3 Spreading pure love over the Europe <3

Colin
Guest
Colin

I will vote for Lithuania in the semi and I wish she qualifies. 🙂

David
Guest
David

She’s definetly worth to reach the top 5

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

GO GO GO Cyprus!
Fuego! Foureira can’t wait to see you burning that stage!!
12 points from Europe to Cyprus

HoneyBS
Guest
HoneyBS

Belarus: the most beautiful song (not perfect, but beautiful) of the night.

Netta was not that bad, I don’t understand the hate. Same with Belgium.

Azerbaiyán for me was the worst. NC I think.

Yaa
Guest
Yaa

High five!

s
Guest
s

The hate for netta comes from the people who hated the song from the first place and now when they saw that she doesnt sound exactly like her studio… (like every other artist this year) they dicided to “show” us that they are “right” to hate the song in the first place..

Escphbelgium
Guest
Escphbelgium

Do you have anything available to do here other than fat-shame Netta? You’re disgusting and a lower waste of a lifeform. You should be ashamed of yourself!

Tian Hou
Guest

I’m Chinese who’s been watching Eurovision since 2015 but unfortunately this edition seems quite weak to me. The overall quality of music is similar to random Cantopop but good luck to all contenders. However, out of 43 songs, I’ve found only three to be actually “Made in Europe”. They are Estonia, Albania and Netherlands. Unfortunately, the rest of songs are something that everybody hears everyday. The world is overloaded with such stuff already and needs something original or new.

blondboybc
Guest
blondboybc

Tell me how the Netherlands song is “Made in Europe”? It’s typical American-style country rock music. On the other hand, I’d indeed argue that Estonia and Albania are. But, I’d also throw in Greece, Serbia, Portugal, Italy, etc, in that lot.

Madrileño
Guest
Madrileño

Agrree

Susanne
Guest
Susanne

Dear Tian Hou,

Thank you for mentioning Estonia. I also love the Netherlands this year, unfortunately don’t like Albania that much, but it’s okey, it’s just so different, what I listen.
Thank you and everything good for you!
From Estonia

Adilove
Guest
Adilove

Surie is a great performer. I like the song but Surie can make anything sound half decent. She will do UK proud.

Darth Thulhu
Guest
Darth Thulhu

Surie is close to the ONLY good thing about the UK’s entry. Thankfully, she is an amazing live performer. Every single slot above dead last will be due almost solely to her talents.

LJE96
Guest
LJE96

That’s a bit harsh. I agree it’s not the best song, but it is far from the worst. I don’t believe it should come last. Maybe 18th ish

Yaa
Guest
Yaa

Not this year but keep hope! She is weaker then Lucie lastyear, tbh.

vikmary
Guest
vikmary

loved-Romania,France!

avner
Guest
avner

Shout out to Slovenia, Lea Sirk with “Hvala, Ne!” She is my fave underdog this year, and her Tel Aviv performance give me hope for a Final appearance. You go crazy girl!!!

Mor
Guest
Mor

Netta is pure talent..so talented woman.even if she will not win she will be an internentional star im sure of it.

Zack
Guest
Zack

You sound like a real fantasist …when she loses you’ll go off into drama queen theatrics

CarlieHanson
Guest
CarlieHanson

I think she has a great career ahead of her. She oozes star quality. I think the song will do well but not win but Netta will be a winner beyond this contest.

MOR
Guest
MOR

CarlieHanson agree with u ..though im sure she will win.

s
Guest
s

@junky you are trash for expressing yourself like that

Steffen
Guest
Steffen

Armenia, Lithuania, Moldova, Spain all of ’em good.

Colin
Guest
Colin

My comments about the first-time performances: Israel – This is anyway for me the hardest song to rate. One day I hear it and I think it’s creative and unique in a good way. The other day, I get annoyed by it and think it’s overrated. I think Netta did quite a good performance considering she used looper and had to entertain over it by herself. Belgium – She did fine, but yeah, the beginning of the chorus definitely could have been smoother. Laura, I love your song, so please, focus on the performance more on ESC. Georgia – They… Read more »

Rose
Guest
Rose

I liked Czech Republic, France, Azerbaijan, Spain, Israel and Montenegro.

Zack
Guest
Zack

If Netta was ”nervous” in front of that relatively small crowd in Tel Aviv then she”ll be lost in Lisbon ….its just unprofessional on her part ; she should look to the Australian girl as an example of how to ”own the stage”

She was stamping around that stage like a frightened elephant that’s seen a mouse …it was simply embarrassing

Mor
Guest
Mor

Zack bla bla bla ..atleast Netta has more than 20 million viewrs and no they not all from Israel they are from all over Europe, America, Africa..ho did i forgat more continents???

Anita
Guest
Anita

Nettas song is much mire diffucult to perform, all this different and very fast noises and singing stile changes. Try to sing both songs yourself completely and you know what I mean. And Jessica is much more experienced…

Zack
Guest
Zack

Well if that’s the case she needs to practice and get it right , or she’s never going to able to perform on the big night in Lisbon
We”ll see if she improves in Amsterdam on Saturday …we’ll see !

Lourdes
Guest
Lourdes

She has one of the best songs, but her performance was far from being the best.

Yellowman96
Guest
Yellowman96

Ugh for the people writing nasty comments about Netta, what did y’all expect? For her to throw a performance a la Lady Gaga Superbowl? She did amazing with the things she had at her disposal and truly cementing herself as a favorite status!

Y’all need to chill and relax… all of this are just concerts

Dan
Guest
Dan

Agreed! I actually thought ALL the performances were a wee bit flat or lacking. And the Facebook streaming didn’t help matters either!